Life can change suddenly: you might have met a new man, or you've just had a baby. Exciting events in your life often means contraceptive considerations are low down on your priority list.
Whether you have just met the man of your dreams, decided to settle down, had a baby, completed your family or had some disorder diagnosed, you will have to reconsider your method of contraception.
An unwanted pregnancy can complicate your life enormously. If you think you are too busy to think about contraception, compare it to how busy you would be if you have to get up at 3am to change yet another nappy.
Becoming sexually active for the first time
The younger you are, the more likely it is that having sex for the first time will be an unplanned event. The rule of thumb, however, should be, that if you are responsible enough to consider having sex, you should be responsible to take precautions against STIs and pregnancy. How much trouble can it be to carry a few condoms?
These protect against both STIs and unwanted pregnancy – if used correctly.
Ending a relationship or changing partners
Whether we like it or not, a new partner does mean greater exposure to STIs. Latex condoms provide adequate protection. Women are at greater risk of being infected with an STI than men are.
When considering settling down, other hormonal contraceptives can be considered, such as the pill or the contraceptive injection. It is advisable for both you and your partner to be tested for any STIs before having any unprotected sex. The grim reality is that failure to do so could carry the death sentence in the form of an HIV infection.
Settling down with one person
If both of you are monogamous by choice and tested clear for STIs, the focus now moves on to preventing pregnancy if you're not ready for parenthood quite yet. The pill, the IUD (intra-uterine device), condoms, ... Read more